Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Forgiveness Really Does

I see a great deal of unforgiveness in the world today, and I have to confess it really bothers me. It isn't just because I can sense the anger and resentment bubbling just below the surface of the people it affects. It isn't because I believe the unforgiven to be riddled with guilt (although sometimes they are). What bothers me most about unforgiveness is the fact that the very act keeps the unforgiver in a perpetual state of anger and resentment. To me, it's a self-made prison--a form of hell on earth.

Let's dissect an example of unforgiveness: a nasty divorce. You think about the hurt, the betrayal, the disappointment, the loss. You play games with the finances, the assets, the kids. You basically lose yourself in every negative feeling the experience brings up. You may even justify its existence by thinking how you've been wronged and how your ex deserves every negative thing which results from your pain. The thing is, when you allow yourself to exist in this state, you are the victim. You are not in a place where you can summon up the courage and resources you need to go on. You are wallowing and trapped. Sometimes, we allow this pain and negativity to go on for years.

When you come to a place of forgiveness, you are in a place of acceptance. You acknowledge what has happened, learn from it and look for new and different paths. Often, you are in a state of appreciation for how you have grown as a human. The chains of victimhood are now broken, and you are free once again to become the powerful creator of your life you were meant to be.

Life can be hard, and it is definitely not fair. Acknowledge this and allow yourself to move on and expand. Holding on to unforgiveness is a block that can keep you from receiving many of the blessings life has to offer. The willingness to let the negativity go will create new opportunities for growth. The reality is, forgiveness does much more for the forgiver than it does for the forgiven. It allows the forgiver to move forward and into a better life.

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